EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

For those members who are looking for a job just like the one they had, it may be time to take a good hard look around and see if this is a practical problem.

Like the buggy whip manufacturers of old, some jobs and some industries are just not coming back.

If you are in one of the hard struck areas of expertise or industries, what practical game plans are there? Not an easy question, but if it was easy, I wouldn’t be addressing it as tonight’s editorial.

First, I have to ask you to believe that you must have acquired some transferable and applicable knowledge during your long career. The problem in evaluating your own information is that you are to a degree “talking to yourself.” If you have had a long and successful career in a particular industry or area of expertise, even the words you use to describe all that you have done may not play well to “strangers.”

Let me make a guess that there are others in The FENG who are in the same “pickle” as you are. I am not going to suggest that “misery loves company” so call them up. What I am going to suggest is that “two heads (or even 3 or 4) are better than one. Like the Manhattan project, you need to put a proper team together and spend $Billions of dollars – wait that’s only for government jobs – just get some coffee and donuts and find a quiet place to meet and brainstorm.

If you want, you can even use our now worn and tattered Member Directory Search feature to do a little preliminary research. Apples don’t fall too far from the tree. Given your firm and/or firms in your industry, what is the career track of your fellow members if they have “strayed from the path?” It may give you a few clues as to where those hard won skills and talents can be applied.

If you see names of companies, but aren’t sure what they do, look them up on the Internet. This kind of clicking used to be hard to do, but if you can Google, you can find just about anything.

Every industry is unique. That said, your skills may be something they need even if they don’t know it yet.

You may find this hard to believe, but in the advertising agency business, those wild and crazy folks like to hire manufacturing types. I know it sounds nuts, but they happen to do cost accounting. They don’t do it very well, but they try it anyway.

While finding a job in your specialized niche is how you maximize your value, other strategies may be needed in the economy to come. If you try hard enough, you just might find a connection between buggy whips, high technology and a new career.

Regards, Matt

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